Junior Doctors Threaten to Strike

Are they serious? OK, so doctors have threatened to strike – are they going to actually follow through with this threat? Before they came up with this idea did they spare a thought for the Hippocratic oath? Or maybe they just didn’t take their vow seriously…   I have serious issues with the idea of doctors striking. How can they expect the public to listen to them if they are willing to take such risks with the health of the nation? These are the people they have vowed to look after, to care for, to protect. Will they abandon them over governmental squabbles about hours and pay? If one patient is harmed because of this action, that is one too many.   I asked some of my younger colleagues why they are striking and I got a range of responses, some more valid than others. But one was about working unsociable hours… seriously?! Medicine is a vocation. If you’re after a 9-5 then you’re in the wrong job buddy. You might be smart enough to do medicine – great, but it takes so much more than that. It takes an unfaltering dedication, sacrifice and a huge amount of hard work. The hours are long – but that’s what it takes. That’s what’s required. That’s what’s expected. Medicine is not to be entered into lightly.   Patients tend to become ill during unsociable hours; they get sick in the middle of the night, on weekends and especially holidays. What about if that were your mum or your grandma who needed urgent care at 3am on a Saturday – would you want someone to be there?   It is a reckless move to hold the health service hostage. Before going ahead with this action, I urge doctors to think again. Think about the elderly person that has planned long in advance for an outpatient appointment, or the concerned mother who has a sick baby. I hope these are the reasons why you got into Medicine – to look after people’s health and help people who cannot help themselves. I strongly urge you to re-think this threat and continue to work.